Who Will Care for Rural Older Adults? Measuring the Direct Care Workforce in Rural Areas

Publication Date: November 28th, 2022
Publication Type(s): Policy Brief
Topic(s): , , , , ,
Author(s): Dill J, Henning-Smith C, Zhu R, Vomacka E

Direct care workers are an essential part of supporting an aging rural population, particularly as more individuals favor aging in place over nursing homes and require in-home assistance with activities of daily living. Aging in place generally refers to older adults remaining in their homes and communities as they age, rather than relocating or moving into an institutional setting. The purpose of this policy brief is to examine existing disparities in the supply of home health aides and nursing assistants in rural areas compared to urban areas. Using the Occupational Employment and Wage Statistics (OEWS) data, we estimate the ratio of home health aides and nursing assistants relative to the population of adults (age 65+) across rural and urban areas in the US.

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